I’ve been on a sabbatical of sorts from my site – for various reasons. One of the least interesting being, my usual writing routine was disrupted due to no WIFI at the laundromat.
Some other reasons include: Lack of interest, health issues, life changes, procrastinating purchasing batteries for my wireless keyboard …
Some writer I am.
Poe didn’t just lay around staring at his quill and just thinking about penning more cousin pining perversion or tooth obsession. He got on with it.
Then again, he did have a metaphorical raven egging him on.
If I’m going to be truly honest though – (ironic considering what I’m trying to say) I can no longer not edit myself here.
Recent events I want to share with you involve others and I don’t have the license or lack of conscience to tell their story.
Even if I was cryptic they would know who they were – and I don’t want to hurt anybody.
I seriously considered taking Debauchery Soup down completely.
I’d rather not write at all than not write honestly.
But, there have been some past pieces that I’m quite proud of over the years. In addition, pieces I know have helped others (I do read the private emails and comments I receive from the side bar) so, Soup remains.
I’ll tell you some good news though.
I conquered agoraphobia!
My anxiety has decreased significantly.
I’ve been not only leaving the house – but, ‘peopling’.
I’ve acquired a social life. Yes, me. OK, so it’s still heart pounding to begin with – but I find myself settling in no time.
I honestly can’t remember the last time the house was cleaned from top to bottom, I haven’t been cooking. I’m enjoying life home alone because I’ve finally accepted that things don’t constantly NEED to be done – I can take time for myself even if there is a dish in the sink or dog hair on the carpet.
Which does now remind me of a story I can share.
Comfy? Ready? Here we go:
I was in a clothing store early in the week perusing the racks of dresses when a petite older lady approached me.
“Did you ever find something that fit so perfectly and was so lovely that you just HAD to have it?”
(These encounters happen often for me – strangers coming up to me and chatting)
I saw the top she was holding up. It was teal, flowing, layered and sparkly.
“I have. That’s beautiful!”
“Oh,” she said, “It is – but, I don’t have anywhere to wear it.”
“Why not wear it at home and have a glass of wine?”
“I don’t drink.” She answered.
“Ok, well, the holidays will be here before you know it!”
“Then it will be too cool to wear this.”
At this point, I’m invested in this woman getting the top for herself. But she continued with,
“Besides, it’s a younger girl’s style. I’m 80.”
“More the reason to get it then! No time like the present!”
“I think it’s too dressy for church too …”
I’m torn at this point between smiling and exiting the conversation while internally yelling ‘don’t get the fucking top then!’ Or doing everything in my power to make sure she left the store with it – whether that meant I purchased it for her or took her hostage to the cashier and forced her to treat herself.
“Certainly they have functions though?”
“No, not my church.”
I was striking out – and long past looking for anything for myself. I wanted this little lady to have something that she had loved on her – something that had made her feel beautiful and wistful.
She suddenly remembered she had a similar, less splashy top in her other gnarled hand.
“OH! Well – I should probably try THIS one on.”
I smiled and we parted.
I left hoping that other top fit just as well – but also sad that she didn’t get the one she obviously adored.
She was being practical I know. But sometimes we have to treat ourselves to something fanciful.
And that’s how I’m living life lately.
Doing things that make me happy and not questioning a thing.
My life right now IS that lady’s sparkly layered top.
You would think today I would have an opinion of a certain party and an inauguration.
I do, of course, but, it’s not foremost in my mind.
My mind is endlessly thinking of a woman I love.
The woman I connected with and understand.
The woman fighting stage 4 cancer.
Thing is … As much as I don’t edit myself with people, I don’t with her either.
When she was well, she never co-signed my bullshit. And I SO appreciated that!
Got to talk to her tonight.
I think she finds it refreshing. No platitudes. Just “So, what the heck? What do they say?” No “I’m praying for you.”
But I am.
To the God I don’t believe in.
I do like to keep it real and then SHE gets to keep it real with ME!
I get the full Monty, no editing.
And I get to ask again the questions other people avoid.
I love her too much not to know.
I love her too much not to be myself, and walk on eggshells. ‘Healthy her’ would HATE that!
Don’t get me wrong, I have bawled my eyeballs right out … Put them back in and ‘Amanda’d’ up!
Because, while I can be honest, and handle her honesty, I still have a very sick friend and it tears me up inside.
Next time I’m in line at the bank and people are bitching, I’ll say, not my usual, but “You realize, I have a friend that can’t even STAND UP and would give ANYTHING to be waiting in this fucking line!”
Don’t doubt it.
I’ll do it!
Part I – The truth
I’ve seen abject poverty, absurd wealth – caste systems – been tugged at by hungry, filthy, beautiful children in India “Baksheesh!”. My white skin and light hair touched uninvited, brave small hands reaching out to make tangible the encounter.
I’ve climbed onto a wing of a plane and let go.
Lain on a table as a life ended.
Pushed life into the world while apologizing to a room I had screamed for hours in prior.
I’ve loved and lost.
Hated and forgiven.
Held onto innocence as long as I could, the only ways I knew how.
Delved into debauchery to test my limits and punch out at the world.
I am educated – and so ignorant.
I thirst for truth and seek it. Hunger for good and dissect things until I find it.
(Dissection … a quick tangent here.
It occurs to me that when people tell me to ‘let it go!’ or ‘Just get over it’ the simple fact is that they just don’t want to hear about a current problem or hurt.
For me, I must dissect. So that when I let go, I let go of all of the parts.
It takes me longer, but in the end I’m rid of, and understand ‘the thing’.)
I ache at injustice.
I have a bad habit of flight in lieu of fight.
I need solitude to really be me – and in that solitude I ache for a partner. One I can miss.
I’ve been a good mother, an awful mother. A good friend and an awful friend. A good daughter and an awful daughter.
I’ve self medicated, self mutilated and despised myself.
Lashed out – fed my pain with my own cold served dishes.
I hit my knees nightly saying ‘thank you’ to a God I don’t believe in.
Spiritual me, with hands clasped – and God forbid I forget, perhaps in a state of fatigue. My OCD pulls me from bed and I snap out a prayer – offer up sincere thanks and what I mean to be true – then sabotage my blessings almost daily.
I don’t reciprocate the love of my friends demonstrably.
She who used to gift everyone to be in their favor, won’t leave her home anymore to visit the important, unwavering people in her life. And they still love me.
I hole up in my nest. Only really feeling safe when I don’t have to make eye contact, or be funny or upbeat. Where I’m not too thin, not too deep. Where I’m gloriously, unapologetically me!
I go deeper into myself. Talking to myself.
Not eloquently – but my thoughts are. I open my mouth in public and hear myself trying to fit in and failing.
I see patterns in my behavior, faces in my food – beauty in the reprehesible and ugliness in Saints.
I see truth.
Part II – Deeper truth
I watch the news and cringe at the biased reporting.
I read quotes slapped up on pages and various social media ‘walls’.
I sneer at the generic, pedestrian sentiments of the ‘Hang in there’ cat poster variety.
“Come on! Catch up! I’m past that life stage!”
Then end up feeling sanctimonious and rethinking everything I think I know again.
I want to say “You! You there! With the prefabricated opinion – have you looked into that? Do you even know if it’s attributed to the correct author? This original opinion that you found on the internet?”
“Have you weighed both sides through careful and passionate research?”
But I don’t.
Because then I’m told I think too much.
But should I ever be asked the same question, I hope my answer can always be an authentic ‘yes’.
I’ve written some terrible posts lately – just typed out for the sake of posting something. I’ve been so uninspired.
Then I watched Nymphomaniac Volumes I & II last night and today.
Lars von Trier inspires me.
(The photos above are stolen screen shots from his movie Antichrist)
Lars von Trier pulls me deeper.
He puts no decorations on his points. It’s raw.
I don’t have to pretend to ‘get’ him. Pipe in the corner of my mouth, leather elbowed jacket – discussing the 100 things his movie could mean. No. None of that.
His cinematography is breathtaking and writing succinct.
I used to love Poe. I think because of the depressive complex nature of his topics. I was young. And full of angst. I think I also pretended to understand him.
I never understood Shakespeare. Okay, some of it. But then I’d get snagged on a sentence – like a blouse on a branch. The more I tried to pull free, the more entangled I became – the more the sentence could mean.
This reminds me of the joke about the blue curtains.
In Nymphomaniac, I loved that Joe – while listening to Seligman’s metaphors politely and even contemplating their validity – carried on with what she meant to say.
Nymphomaniac was not erotic for me. I don’t think it is supposed to be. But then – porn does not arouse me.
I have a very unhealthy view of intimacy – the result of a multitude of inappropriate ‘experiences’ I did not choose to be a part of.
The emotionless rutting makes me sad. Especially in this movie – her never-ending quest to be filled. To feel.
Her blank stare as men thrust inside of her on the train.
Carnal, desperate and mechanical.
She tells her life story, unedited, to a man who has taken her in after she has been beaten.
Of all the characters – Seligman the virgin, in my opinion, was the most reprehensible character of all the men.
And not just because he kept interrupting her story while trying to validate her actions in order to feel better about himself …
I vehemently feel disgust for those who misrepresent themselves.
At least the other men did not hide their intentions.
People who hide their intentions frighten me.
I was very happy with the ending to the movie.
When I was little, and someone I loved very much was being hurt – I fantasized about doing the same thing.
It was always the same fantasy – the person would not be taken by surprise.
They would know it was me – look directly into my eyes and know my intention and that I was going to follow through.
Never for me – but for someone I love – I would kill.
I can know that about myself and I feel less guilty for not leaving my house to visit.
I also know I need to offer what I can to those I care for while there is still time.
I know this.
But I also feel I need to improve what I have to offer.
I’m still dissecting.
I still look in the mirror and don’t understand what others see. I do not find myself aesthetically pleasing most of the time – and when I do, I feel prideful and vain.
But the most important things that I see when I look in the mirror I am comfortable with.
I meet my own eyes and see someone who is willing to admit all of her faults.
I see someone who is willing to work on them.
I see someone who I would like – someone I would visit and not expect a visit from in return.
I’d probably also post an arbitrary prefabricated quote on her wall and tell her not to take herself so seriously – that we’re all in different stages of our life’s journey, and hers is just one of many.
Knowing she’d dissect it.
It’s been a long productive week at the new office. Punctuated by singing along to awesome songs, random dance breaks and lots of laughter with my bosses. The new business I’m so fortunate to be a part of became official last week and my desk is amazing and stocked and I am now the Operations Manager of ‘Company X’.
This is one of the parts of my life I don’t share here. No last names, no addresses, no personal identifying information.
Seriously though, if anyone did some minor sleuthing, the gig would be up.
Still, I try to maintain some anonymity for the sake of others more than for myself.
This has been very difficult lately. I want to burst I’m so full of scandals and hypocrisy that I can’t share.
I mean, I COULD, but then I’d have to live with myself.
This is occurring more and more often by the way.
The live with myself part, not the scandals and hypocrisy.
I’m still without my son. He’s spending his weeks staying with my mom across the river and his spare time with his first love who will be leaving the state next month for college.
It has been weird without him.
Okay, I have been weird without him
I’ve taken talking to myself to a whole new level. I’ll have internal dialogues, then out of no where, verbalize a portion of it.
Example: I’ll be having a conversation with someone in my head (please tell me I’m not the only one who does this) then say something like “because it’s blue” out loud.
I’m one more week alone away from shopping cart mumbler.
Oh, and I can’t be still. I’m not reading anymore, not sitting outside listening to music while looking up at the stars – I’m not drawing or painting or taking my camera out on adventures.
I am back in my little hamster wheel of ‘wake up – bathe – dress – tend to animals – exit house – work – return from work – eat something unhealthy – prepare for bed’.
Here’s me on the couch trying for a serene look – mostly I just liked the light and since the dog now leaves when I start to put my ipad in camera mode (how does she know???) – and since NO ONE else is in my house, I have become my subject.
So fake though. Which is not how I am. It’s a snapshot of the shell. Inside I was still hurting and thinking and not serene at all.
The point is – this past year has left me so spun and undone that I can’t seem to find the energy to do the things I used to enjoy.
I put so much effort and faith into a person and project that I lost a bit of myself.
I put myself on the back burner and looked forward to promises of such an amazing future that I was okay with that.
Of course, gullible me believed what was never to be.
There are two people on my shit list right now. They need to be very cautious how they proceed because I’m not above doing a public service and sharing what I know and supporting it with evidence.
I would do this in case any other gullible person might have either of them on a pedestal and be naive enough to trust.
That just came out of nowhere.
Still, I have not named names.
Just watch it – you both know who you are. So ‘good’ and selfless in public and so not in reality.
Let’s talk about sandwiches for a moment.
With Nic gone, I haven’t really been shopping for food. I have made random stops for ice cream, but I don’t think that counts.
It has been enlightening though, pretty sure this allergy free girl might have a touch of lactose intolerance. Although, the quantities in which I’m consuming said ice cream may render anyone intolerant of dairy.
I was making lunch last week – and since I was out of greens for my cheese and veggie sandwich, I decided on peanut butter and jelly.
I got as far as the peanut butter and realized there was no jelly.
Okay, there sort of was jelly … it was in the pantry in a container and had liquified to jellorage status (Jelly/beverage – does that work? Might that catch on?)
It sure as hell wasn’t going on my sandwich, I knew that much.
I had some strawberries that weren’t getting any firmer, but hadn’t reached ‘throw me out!’ stage yet – so I got creative and chopped them up and placed them on the peanut butter.
(This may already be a thing. I’m reminded of when I opted for flour tortillas in lieu of bread when making a grilled cheese and meat concoction – ‘savory crepe’ I called it. Then had the embarrassing moment of my friend Micah pointing out ‘did you just invent the quesadilla?’ Groan.)
Anyway it was amazing!
And life is like that too.
Improvising when something is lacking in life – coming up with a solution that turns out to be better than the norm.
I actually did sit outside yesterday at sunset – and saw the most amazing cloud with sun streaming through it. I snapped a bad photo of it on my ipad (Butters fled) and shared it.
What I was thinking was it was beyond silver lining status – it was light and goodness breaking though the dark cloud with determination.
And that’s my next plan.
Stream through the dark clouds with truth – and sunlight and metaphorical chopped strawberries.
Still looking for good. Still believing in light and love.
But not afraid to call ‘bullshit!’ either.
Gullible girl is gone.
I’ve been sad again. And while examining the ‘sad’ I narrowed the root cause down to a need for two things.
Consistency and authenticity.
These are things I need.
To be able to count on someone or something.
To be told the truth, and never left feeling confused and worried due to lies or omission.
I can handle the truth.
I can move on with truth.
I keep getting told how strong I am, so it must be true.
I need truth.
If I’m willing to do the work – whether it be at home, in the workplace or within my relationships with people, I need it to be reciprocated.
I’m loyal to a degree of ridiculousness.
I’m consistent – you can count on me. I’m honest, (sometimes too honest, I know this.)
I need those things in return.
My mom offered me some advice the other day: “They don’t care about you, you need to look out for yourself.”
I won’t say who ‘they’ are, but she had a point.
The problem is, I still care about them. I care about the time and work and heart I’ve put in.
I’m never going to abandon a place or person until I’m sure I’ve tried my very best. Because I have to live with myself after they’re gone.